Tips For Better Sleep

How Can You Get The Peaceful Sleep That You Need?

December 30, 2023   By JM Carpiso

We all know that feeling. The feeling of being well rested from a good night’s sleep. But how can you really get a peaceful night’s sleep? With all the stress and the rushing around us, restful sleep has become so elusive. We’re all sleep deprived and tired nowadays. What’s the secret to getting sleep that makes you feel alive?

Sleep, the ultimate luxury for today’s busy lifestyle, has become so rare. People have tried all sorts of things just to get enough shut eye at night. From natural sleep aids like herbal teas to prescription medications from doctors to great beds and warm baths, the key to unlocking the mysteries of sleeping soundly has truly been mysterious.

Let’s look into how you can get peaceful sleep at night and feel well rested the next day. 

Why Is It So Hard To Get Peaceful Sleep?

Optimal sleep or the type of sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed and energised the next day becomes harder to get as your life gets busier. There are many underlying factors that hinder you from getting well rested as you lie in bed at night. Things like how you feel, what you’re thinking of, what you ate, your environment, the room temperature and so on can prevent you from sleeping well. 

On the other hand, some people do get peaceful and highly energising sleeping at night. They do get feeling recharged the next day after sleeping while you don’t. But why is that?

The answer to this question is a very complex one. Sleep has baffled many scientists, professors, healers, philosophers and all sorts of people since the dawn of time. Optimal sleep is the type of sleep that gives you vigour and alertness the day after. 

REM Sleep or Deep Sleep

A woman sleeping.

According to science, a typical adult needs about four to six REM cycles in order to feel well rested and have sleep that can be classified as optimal. REM sleep or sleep that has Rapid Eye Movement. It is during REM sleep was our body feels rested the most.

Rapid Eye Movement sleep (REM sleep) is one of the distinct stages of the sleep cycle. It is distinguished by rapid and erratic eye movement, heightened brain activity, and intense dreaming. REM sleep is one of four sleep stages, the others being non-REM stages (N1, N2, N3).

REM sleep causes the brain to become more active, similar to being awake. However, the body experiences REM atonia, a type of temporary paralysis that prevents people from acting out their dreams. This stage is essential for a variety of physiological and psychological functions, such as memory consolidation, emotional control, and overall cognitive performance.

A full night’s sleep is normally made up of many sleep cycles, with REM sleep occurring cyclically throughout the night and getting longer in duration as the night progresses. While the precise role of REM sleep is unknown, its significance in enhancing overall well-being and cognitive function is widely recognized.

For an adult to feel that is getting a full night’s sleep, he must at least have around four to six cycles of REM Sleep. Without it, he will feel fatigued and heavy.

Not Having Enough REM Sleep

Feeling exhausted when not getting enough REM sleep is due to the essential processes linked with this sleep stage. REM sleep is important for many areas of physical and mental well-being, and its absence can have an influence on total sleep quality. 

Here are some of the reasons why insufficient REM sleep might cause fatigue:

1. Memory consolidation 

Memory processing is tied to REM sleep, particularly for emotional and procedural memories. Inadequate REM sleep may impair the brain’s capacity to organize and store information, resulting in cognitive tiredness and memory recall issues.

2. Emotional control

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is required for emotional control and processing. Depriving the brain at this stage may result in mood disorders, increased irritability, and heightened emotional reactivity, as well as a feeling of sleepiness or emotional fatigue.

3. Dreaming

The most vivid dreaming happens during REM sleep. Dreams are thought to serve a variety of psychological functions, including the processing of emotions and experiences. Disrupting this stage may result in a lack of psychological resolution during sleep, potentially adding to weariness.

4. Brain Restoration

REM sleep causes increased blood flow and neuronal activity in the brain. This stage is thought to be critical for general brain healing and function. Without enough REM sleep, cognitive processes may not be properly regenerated, leading to symptoms of mental tiredness.

5. Physiological Restoration

REM sleep is also linked to physiological restoration, which includes body repair and maintenance. REM sleep deprivation may impair the body’s ability to recuperate, resulting in physical fatigue and a lack of vitality.

While REM sleep is vital, the other stages of the sleep cycle are also important. Overall sleep balance and quality, including both REM and non-REM stages, contribute to feeling refreshed and aware during the waking hours. If persistent weariness is a concern, it is best to speak with a healthcare expert to review sleep patterns and suspected sleep disorders.

Other Causes of Lack of Sleep

A smart phone in a blue lit room.

The path towards peaceful sleep can be a challenging task at times. Issues that range from the occasional restless night to chronic sleeping disorders can hinder your quest to good rest. 

Let’s look at the main reasons why it’s so difficult to fall asleep and suggestions for getting a good night’s sleep.

1. Anxiety and Stress

The everyday grind of stress and anxiety is one of the primary causes why you can’t get enough Zzzz’s. Racing thoughts, deadlines, and fears can cause a mental storm, making it difficult to transition from awake to the quiet needed for sleep.

2. Sleep Schedule Disruption

Routine is beneficial to our bodies. Irregular sleep patterns, variable bedtimes, and uneven waking hours can all disturb the normal circadian rhythm, making it difficult for the body to signal when it’s time to rest.

3. Screen Time Before Bed

The presence of gadgets before bed has a huge impact on sleep. The blue light emitted by your phone, tablet, laptop or TV can decrease melatonin production, the hormone responsible for sleep regulation, making it more difficult to fall asleep.

4. Sleeping Disorders

Sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, or restless leg syndrome can make falling asleep difficult. Seeking your doctor’s help to identify and treat these illnesses is critical to getting a good night’s sleep.

7. Caffeine and Stimulants:

Drinking coffee and energy drinks or even tea right before bedtime can jolt you out of the natural sleep cycle. At night, choose decaffeinated drinks to reduce the impact on getting the right amount of sleep.

8. Poor Sleep Hygiene

Neglecting good sleep hygiene habits, such as establishing a feeling of relaxation before sleeping, having a bedtime pre-sleep routine, maintaining a pleasant sleep vibe, and avoiding stimulating tasks, can all lead to sleeping issues.

So remember to pat down yourself before bed and just relax so you can get ready for bedtime. Don’t stress out or overwork yourself before lying down.

How to Get Peaceful Sleep

A woman meditating

Getting well-rested and having optimal sleep can be yours if you learn how to ease yourself into sleep at night. Putting importance on being well rested is a must and having good sleeping habits can help you have good health and energy. So here is a short guide for you to attain better sleep

1. Make a Relaxing Sleep Environment

Your sleeping environment is important. Dim the lights, buy comfortable bedding, and organize your sleeping area. A clutter-free and tranquil atmosphere can indicate to your brain that it’s time to unwind.

2. Create a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Our bodies thrive on routines. Even on weekends, maintain a consistent bedtime and wake-up time. This regulates your internal clock, making it simpler to sleep and wake up naturally. If you sleep at odd times every day, your body will feel confused and won’t know when it’s time to wind down. 

Set an alarm for sleeping if you must to tell you it’s time to let go of your phone. Start a few minutes of meditation and then lie down to rest.

3. Put Your Gadgets Down Before Bed:

The blue light from screens can interfere with your body’s generation of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Aim to turn off your gadgets at least an hour before bedtime to communicate to your body that it’s time to unwind.

You’ll be surprised with the results if you do this.

4. Exercise Relaxation Techniques

Incorporate relaxing techniques into your pre-sleep regimen. Deep breathing, progressive muscular relaxation, or mild stretching can help you relax and fall asleep. You can do a gentle yoga routine for bedtime to ease your body into sleeping. Yoga has been proven to help you sleep better. 

5. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Don’t eat too much food before sleeping. Avoid heavy meals, coffee, and nicotine near bedtime. If you’re hungry, choose a light snack to avoid getting tummy aches and gas at night. Also eat food that has high tryptophan so that you can get Melatonin in your body. These are dairy, egg whites, seeds, chicken and turkey. 

6. Invest in a Quality Mattress and Pillows

Your mattress and pillows have a big impact on your sleep quality.  Check whether your mattress gives suitable support and whether your pillows are appropriate for your sleeping habits. If they aren’t, then it might be a good time to upgrade. Investing in comfy bedding can make all the difference in the world.

7. Reduce Naps and Increase Daylight Exposure

While power naps can be rejuvenating, prolonged daytime snoozes might disrupt evening sleep. Additionally, getting some natural light during the day helps balance your sleep-wake cycle, so try to get some every day.

8. Stress and Anxiety Management

Anxiety and stress can be severe sleep disruptors. Incorporate stress-management practices such as meditation, journaling, or engaging in activities that you enjoy into your daily routine.

9. Have a Good Sleeping Position

Your chosen sleeping position can have an effect on your sleep quality. Experiment with various positions to find what feels the most comfortable and is in line with your body’s natural posture.

10. Seek Professional Assistance If Necessary

If your sleep problems persist, you should seek the advice of a medical expert. Sleep apnea and insomnia, for example, may necessitate specialist attention and therapy.

Remember that small changes can have a big effect on your sleep. You can have restful nights and energized days by creating a relaxed sleep environment, adopting healthy sleep habits, and prioritizing self-care. Accept the path to peaceful sleep, and may each night bring you the rest your mind and body deserve. Sweet dreams are in store!

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